Sometimes, with the pressure of blue ribbons, time spent training, or outside life getting in the way, we forget how to enjoy our horses. This happens to all of us at some point in horse ownership. We just get too caught up in something to see what is really going on. We need to have a solid relationship with our horses. This will not only improve your time spent with your horse, but also make your rides more relaxed. Here are 4 ways you can create a better bond with your horse.
1) Focus On the Important Things
Our time spent with our horses needs to be spent wisely. We should use this time to work on things our horses need to understand better and to improve our horsemanship. At the same time, we need to be careful not to get caught up in our goals and pressure ourselves and our horses too much. Another thing to remember is that spending an hour pulling our horse’s mane or trimming whiskers is not necessarily going to make us a better horse person. Unless it is a necessity, don't bother doing it. Trust me, your horse does not see whisker trimming as bonding time.
2) Don’t Squeeze Square Pegs Into Round Holes
Every horse is unique, just like people. We need to keep this in mind when we are spending time training and riding. Some horses love doing some things, while others absolutely hate it. If something is not working out well for you and your horse, don’t push it. This will only result in stress and frustration. A frustrated horse makes for a frustrate rider, which does not make a good relationship. Try something new or take a break for a while. Find something you and your horse both enjoy doing. The result will be that you and your equine partner will be much more relaxed.
3) Mix It up
Having the same boring routine day after day can wear on a relationship. You want to see your horse become excited to see you. Mixing things up will make your horse think, ”I wonder what new and exciting thing we will work on today!” This attitude will make training, lessons, and rides more fun for both of you. Instead of doing arena work, go for a trail ride. Instead of lunging, work in the round pen. Instead of ground work, work over some obstacles. Be creative and have fun!
4) Be a Good Leader
Horses need and want to have a leader. When you own, train, or ride a horse, it is your responsibility to be the leader. Without a leader, the relationship will crumble. In order to be a good leader for your horse you must: be assertive but not aggressive and show affection without spoiling.
These attributes will not only make you a better horse person, but also a better person in general. An assertive leader that makes the horse feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable creates a fabulous relationship.
Thanks For Reading, Happy Trails!